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WHERE'S THE ART?....5/15/23

Updated: May 24, 2023

During a months long road trip around the country a few years ago, my wife and I visited a number of modern art museums. More often than not when viewing a particular piece, I would ask myself, “how did they come up with that?”

Other times I would stare at something in disbelief, like the stack of unfinished 4 x 4’s that looked like they had just been pulled out of the dumpster at a construction site.

Then there was the piece of nicely framed fir plywood with a couple of prominent “boat patches” in it, which are designed to replace knots inherent in the wood when the plywood is made.

Having worked with lumber and plywood most of my adult life, it’s easy to take this material for granted and wondered where the art was.

It was then I realized - it’s everywhere - whether it’s an old barn, a custom made piece of furniture, a silver bracelet, a vintage car, a floral arrangement, or a chunk of plywood called “Golden Knots” hung on a wall in a museum, challenging our assumptions.

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Your realization that art is all around us reminds me of a similar realization I had many years ago, when I was in Washington, DC, contemplating the possibility of getting a job there. I asked myself, "Where would you find the mountains you know you need access to for your own mental health?" The realization came to me as I looked at all the iconic buildings and monuments - there are mountains all around me, they are just cut up into blocks and stacked artistically as monuments and buildings. I did not end up working in DC but had the opportunity to go there on official business once or twice a year during my time at HUD.

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